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A number of our horses are sired by Royal Alla, a tough grey grandson of Abu Alla.  He was chosen many years ago from a ranch in southern Alberta by Rita Jackson.  Royal Alla produced many excellent horses.  Alla's JoyRide (JR) and Royal Alameer are two well known Alberta endurance horses.  This line of horses has been setting performance standards in Alberta for over fifty years.   JR was nominated to the World Championships in Kansas,  went to the World Championships in Dubai,  performed very well at the Outlaw Trail - riding all 5 days,  winning best condition on the last day and best condition overall.  There are many stories about this horse in Alberta.  Born in 1983, he was a joy to ride.  He passed away peacefully in the pasture in 2003.  We own a number of related mares who will continue producing excellent performance prospects for many  years to come.     photos of JR


Blaze, another of our favorite horses, is now enjoying California with Becky Hackworth.  They completed all 4 days of the Death Valley ride and Blaze was lst overall in the heavyweight division. He did really well on the 2004 XP ride.

Abu at the Tevis.   We took Abu to the XP 2001.  When we left,  he stayed and did several hundred more miles of the XP ride with Dorothy Sue Philips.  He and Dorothy Sue then went on to complete  the Tevis within 2 weeks of the XP finish.

See also photo Album



Profile of JR.     Article published in 'Caldra' and 'Horses All' in 1996, updated for 1998 World Championship.

No, the "JR" does not stand for the JR in Joy-ride.  It may have started that way; but it quickly came to reflect the personality and actions of J.R. Ewing in the TV program, Dallas.  As most ERA riders know, there are many stories about JR.  Until three years ago, most were unflattering.

It is said he was like riding in a Ferrari with the throttle stuck wide open and a broken drive shaft.

He was perceived as unpredictable, mean and likely to kill someone.  He has injured a number of people.  The breeder was Rita Jackson.  While admired, he was a handful and provided a significant training challenge.  It is said that he intentionally tried to run over people, brush them off or unload them.  He was sold to Brad Neal in June 1988.  Brad had a number of similar experiences - finding himself riding thin air on a few occasions.  Paul and Linda Riley traded horses with Brad on a trial basis in 1992.  The same nasty traits carried on.

The result was a try out as a bucking horse.  Many TRAC members (Trail Riders of Alberta) will remember seeing JR at the rodeo grounds at the Tees competitive trail ride in May 1992.  However when the flank strap was tightened and the chute was opened, JR decided he would lie down. He refused to buck.

A number of people (Wayne's wife Elaine in particular) noticed his free movement and floating trot.  Christy Janzen arranged for Roy Cust to bring him to Edmonton for a try out.  However, Christy was riding an unparalleled mare, Jayla, at the time.  She wanted a mare, and JR seemed lacking in fire compared to Jayla.

So JR ended up in Wayne and Elaine Delbeke's pasture for the summer of 1992.  He was left alone for about two  months.  Then he began his try out as an endurance prospect.  Some of the attributes  ascribed to him showed up fairly quickly.  On one of his first training rides through a stand of narrow trees, Wayne put his heels up on JR's shoulders.  This resulted in an immediate mach 10 explosion and spontaneous unplanned dismount (SUD).  We assume that there was a connection back to the Tees rodeo  grounds and spurs on the shoulders.  Some time spent showing him that heels on the shoulders were not a prelude to anything cured the problem.  The next SUD came shortly after while ponying another horse with too long a lead rope.  The rope went under JR's tail and we discovered his open field bucking style.  It is easy to see why it was thought he might be able to become a rodeo star.  He buries his head completely between his front legs.  When you look down his neck, you only see feet, no head.  The pattern is  three leaps, right angle left, three leaps, right angle left, three leaps....    On grass, the front feet holes can be 15 cm (6 inches) deep. However, it soon became clear that JR's reactions were mainly out of fear.  Undoing a snap on the sleeve of a western shirt could result in a quarter mile joy ride.  A flap of nylon, the breaking of a branch or any surprising or unusual noise could set off jumping, running, bucking, shying and other standard fight or flight reactions typical of our equine friends.  For a while every ride was an adventure.  With patience and miles, his fears gave way to trust.

Our first endurance ride was a 25 mile limited distance ride in Blackfalds, Alberta, September 19, 1992. He placed fifth and was judged Best Condition.  In 1993, we entered only limited distance rides in Alberta, but finished off the season with a 50 mile ride in Turtleford, Saskatchewan with a third place finish.  We began competing in the longer distances in 1994.  JR's first 100 mile ride was at Vanscoy, Saskatchewan on June 16, 1994.  He placed second and was judged Best Condition.  He completed his second 100 mile ride just two weeks later in Devon Alberta, finishing fifth.

JR completed 875 miles in 1995 for a total of 1500 miles.  He placed consistently well receiving five Best Condition awards in 1995 (three in Alberta, one in B.C. and one in Montana).

We continue to have new and wonderful experiences as all riders do.  We have had slides down muddy hills with JR sitting on his rump like a child on a toboggan;  we have somersaulted down icy hills with all our friends watching; and we have watched our friends do similarly silly things.  After watching and participating in one incident where the JR's Saddle slipped and his tail got caught in a stirrup resulting in a runaway, collision and SUD, Roy Cust said "Please don't ever train that horse, it will take all the fun out of riding with you."  I think it is me that needs the training.  JR is doing fine!

We cannot think of a time when JR threatened people or was mean.  Almost all the problems with JR seemed to have an explanation based in fear.  Over the last 10 years, JR has become a friend, a great trail partner and teacher.


Alla's Joyride, grey arab gelding, born May 16, 1983

Owner: Wayne Delbeke

1995  - Endurance Riders of Alberta Best Conditioned Horse, Top Mileage Horse and third in overall ride points.

1996 - nominated to World Endurance team for Kansas.

1997 - Completed 2000 endurance miles, including the 5 day Outlaw Trail historic endurance ride (top husband-wife team, best conditioned horse on last day and overall best condition award for the 5 days); completed three day 150 mile Great Northern Connection winning first place (three way tie) and best condition on the last day; Top Five Horse award.

1998 - ERA Best conditioned horse award, top mileage horse award, second in overall ride points and Top Five Horse award. Nominated to Canadian World Endurance team for UAE.

1999 -  Won every year end award in Alberta.

2000 - Wayne did not ride because of illness except to try the Tevis.  JR slipped on a rock on Lyon's ridge and cut the heel bulb on his left front but the vets felt he could carry on.  We have a beautiful picture of him running over Cougar rock.  Unfortunately his sore foot caught up with him at Dusty Corners.  We were in the top 15 but our day was over.  Thanks to the crew including Pascale Soumoy for their wonderful efforts.

2001- Started the 2001 XP and his rider was injured on the third day.  By the second week he could not ride.  JR is now relaxing in the pasture waiting for Wayne to recover enough to get going down the trail again.

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